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Océ Future Authors Project Helps Prepare Palm Beach Students for School

August 17, 2010
BOCA RATON, FL—August 16, 2010—Fifty-five middle and high school students in Palm Beach County, FL started school this year with better writing skills thanks to their participation in the Océ Future Authors Project. Now in its fifth year, the program is a partnership between the School District of Palm Beach County and Océ North America and is designed to help students experience the process of becoming published authors.

Andrea Aguirre, a junior at Royal Palm Beach High School, chose to spend eight days of her summer as a Future Author at the recommendation of her English teacher. She was pleasantly surprised by the program. “It was a fantastic experience,” she said. “I thought it would be a simple writing workshop, but instead it was a recreation of the entire publishing process.”

The budding writer, who plans to study journalism and psychology at the University of Florida and wants to write books some day, was especially touched by the intense feedback about her work. “The first time my writing was rejected, I was crushed,” she said, “but the experience taught me so much and took me out of my comfort zone. It was refreshing to sit down and write about anything without having someone tell me the topic was wrong.”

Spanish River High School senior, Whitney Fenelon, also found the program an effective way to improve her writing. “I learned that I don’t need as many words when I write,” she said. “I also learned a lot about the publishing process, which will help me when I try to publish my books.” Whitney, who will be attending Palm Beach State College as part of the early enrollment program, has already written and hopes to publish someday three books, including her most recent about a high school crush. She plans to be a meteorologist.

The Océ Future Authors Project is designed to help students improve their writing and critical thinking skills, develop an understanding of how authors are published, and learn about today’s digital print and publishing opportunities. The day-long sessions are taught by certified Palm Beach County teachers. Writings from each student are compiled, professionally published and digitally printed in final book form by the Boca Raton-based Océ North America Production Printing Systems division.

This year’s book, titled by the students, If Writing Were Easy, This Book Would Be Huge, will be unveiled on November 10 at a book signing hosted by the City of Boca Raton at the Spanish River Public Library.
 

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